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Coffee brewing guide and tips

Making coffee seems very simple, just add water or press a button. However, when you realise how good coffee can taste when prepared correctly it is no wonder that we all want to achieve this flavour at home. Achieving this takes time and practice and below are a few tips to steer you in the right direction. Journey on...

Quick Tips

  • Use only fresh coffee beans. However, very fresh coffee beans need a few days to oxidise before use as they can lack flavour and body
  • Grind coffee to order
  • Buy a good grinder, it is crucial to your coffee experience
  • Store coffee in air tight one way valve bags and store in cool dry place. NOT fridge or freezer
  • Keep all equipment clean
  • Keep practising, it is a never ending journey
  • Always use milk at the right temperature ie 65c
  • Never use boiling water. 96-98 degrees is optimal to avoid scalding beans

Stove Top

  • Grind fresh roasted coffee with a quality grinder, (not blade grinders) to the size of granulated sugar
  • Preheat your water and fill to indicator line
  • Place basket in and top up with coffee slightly above level. Then pad down gently with finger until flat and remove excess coffee, making sure you wipe clean around the thread!
  • Screw top on and place onto stove medium heat, and leave lid open
  • Soon coffee will start to come through and after a while it will ooze out. At this point you want to keep a close eye on the coffee. After the coffee has risen 1- 2 centimetres turn off the heat and put lid down. Coffee will continue to come through for a little while.
  • It is important to realise that you are not after qunatity but quality. A lot of the water will still be in bottom, but it is the dark concentrated sweet coffee that made it through that we want
  • Pour into cups and if using milk make sure to use warm milk.

Plunger/ French Press

  • Grind fresh roasted coffee with a quality grinder, (not blade grinders) to the size of rock salt
  • Boil kettle and pour water into press to warm glass. then pour out
  • Portion about 18 grams (3 teaspoons) of coffee per cup and put into press
  • Never use boiling water, let the kettle water cool for a minute before pouring into press so as not to burn beans
  • Brew for approximately 3-4 minutes and then press down in a smooth action. There should be just a slight resistance. If it is very difficult to press down then your grind is too fine. If press is too quick then the grind is too coarse.
  • Pour coffee as soon as ready. Do not leave any in pot for later as it will begin to turn bitter and over brewed. Put any left overs in a thermal flask for later


  • This can be difficult to master and we highly recommend getting a lesson. After all if you have invested good money on a machine and grinder you will want to get the best results. These tips are very basic!
  • Grind fresh coffee on demand only
  • When dosing fill baskets to the dosage line in your group basket and tamp with firm pressure and twist. Make sure coffee is flat and level. When putting your group handle into machine you want to feel that the coffee in your basket is just touching the shower head.
  • If extraction pours too fast, under 20 seconds then the grind is too coarse
  • If extraction struggles to come out and only drips very dark coffee, the grind is too fine
  • Coffee cake (this is what the coffee grains look like after extraction) should be solid and break like a biscuit
  • Look at colour of coffee in cup rather than length of time for correct extraction. 25-30 seconds is a good guide but not essential

Fresh Cafe